By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has urged intending pilgrims from the state, to key into the National Hajj Savings Scheme, towards actualizing their dream to fulfil their pilgrimage rites.
Engineer Sule made the call while flagging-off the scheme at the Government House, on Tuesday.
The Governor highlighted on the disadvantage of saving for Hajj with government, stressing that he prefers intending pilgrims from the state to save their contributions with the scheme rather than with the government.
According to Engineer Sule, even though such may not happen in Nasarawa State, but the truth is that government may utilize the funds for purposes other than its original purpose.
“During the process, the Hajj may come and government may not have the money and during the period you will hear different types of story,” he explained.
While commending the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), for the laudable initiative and contributing to the general improvement of the economy, as well as the living standards of the people, the Governor acknowledged the goodwill of Jaiz Bank for partnering with the commission to ensure the success of the scheme.
Engineer Sule pointed out that the scheme provides avenue for the Muslim pilgrim to actualize the desire to fulfil an important religious rite, especially coming at a time when subsidizing religious activities is gradually being phased out by government.
“With the introduction of the scheme, citizens are giving the luxury of flexible system of contributing with the benefits of generating profit on deposit,” he stated.
Engineer Sule used the opportunity to thank the chairman of NAHCON, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan especially, for being personally present during the launching of the scheme in Lafia, while also showing appreciation to traditional rulers that graced the occasion.
The Governor equally used the opportunity to caution the people that COVID-19 still exists, urging them to take part in the ongoing vaccination exercise earlier flagged-off in the state.
Earlier, Managing Director, Jaiz Bank, Mr. Hassan Usman, said the event is part of efforts to raise awareness across the country on the benefit of the scheme, earlier launched October last year in Kano.
Represented at the event by the acting MD of the bank, Abdulfatah Amao, the Jaiz Bank MD, said the scheme affords intending pilgrims that lack the wherewithal, the opportunity to gradually plan and actualize their dream without stress by saving gradually.
Mr. Usman assured that his bank is committed and ready to support the scheme with best-in-class technology, as well as safe investment management practice.
In his remarks, Chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, said the scheme, being contribution saving, is enshrined in the law establishing the commission.
The official launch of the National Hajj Savings Scheme in Lafia, was in collaboration with the Nasarawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board.